I made an enchilada casserole for dinner and I wanted an dessert to go with it. Wife Jan loves rice pudding. Chocolate and cinnamon are classic ingredients of Mexican cuisine. I had wanted to add chilies, but the wife nixed that as too spicy.
Rice pudding has become a comfort dessert in our house. When one of my girls has had a rough day they ask for rice pudding. Over the years, I have made many variations—1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, and 13.
Karl’s Cinnamon Chocolate Rice Pudding
¾ cup uncooked Jasmine rice
2 cups low fat milk
2 Tbs. brown sugar
¼ tsp. Kosher salt
2 eggs, beaten
½ cup half and half
2 Tbs. cocoa powder
1 Tbs. cinnamon
4 Tbs. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1. Put the rice in a rice steamer with two cups of water and cook until done.
Tip: If you do not have a rice steamer, you may use a pot to cook your rice. However if you make rice more than twice a month it is really worth the connivance—set it and forget it. You may buy a small one for less than $20.
Note: This is more than the usual amount of water, but you want the rice to be a bit overcooked. This makes for a creamer final pudding.
2. Put the eggs into a large measuring cup and beat them well.
Tip: You need enough room in the measuring cup to hold some of the hot rice as you “temper” the egg mixture (see below).
Note: Like many dishes, like lemon curd, rice pudding is simply a custard with things added—I like custard, so I keep adding more.
3. Blend the half cup of cream into the eggs and set the mixture aside.
4. Put the rice, two cups milk, sugar, and salt into a medium saucepan.
5. Bring the pot to a simmer and stir, over medium low heat, until thickened, about 15-20 minutes.
Tip: Stir constantly and scrape the bottom of the pot to prevent scorching.
Note: Rough handling releases more of the starch from the rice and also makes for a creamer rice pudding.
6. Stir in the cocoa powder and cinnamon.
7. Spoon some of the hot rice into the egg/milk mixture to temper it.
Tip: You want your eggs to turn into a custard, not scrambled eggs.
Note: I mix the eggs in a 2 cup measuring cup and then add a few tablespoons of hot rice at a time, mixing it in, before adding a few more for a total of about ¾ of a cup.
8. Stir the warmed egg mixture into the rice in the pot.
9. Continue cook, stirring roughly and constantly, for 8-10 more minutes, until thick and creamy.
10. Remove the pot from the heat, and stir in the butter and vanilla.
11. Serve warm with a garnish of a piece of your favorite chocolate.
Tip: My favorite is Chocolove orange peel in dark chocolate. After a few minutes in the warm pudding the chocolate becomes all melt-y.